Cornershop is a British indie rock band formed in 1991 by Tjinder Singh, his brother Avtar, David Chambers, and Ben Ayres. The band name originated from a stereotype referring to British Asians often owning street corner stores. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, Britpop, and electronic dance music.
Their debut release, the ‘In The Days of Ford Cortina’ EP, pressed on ‘curry-colored vinyl,’ contained a blend of Indian-tinged noise pop. The sound mellowed somewhat with the release of debut album ‘Hold On It Hurts’ in 1994. The album impressed David Byrne sufficiently for him to sign the band to his Luaka Bop label. Although David Chambers left, replaced by Nick Simms, the band re-emerged in 1995.
The band released their critically acclaimed album ‘When I Was Born for the 7th Time’ in 1997. The album featured collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Paula Frazer, Justin Warfield, and a Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney approved cover of ‘Norwegian Wood.’ The album was produced by Tjinder Singh and Dan the Automator. The track ‘Brimful of Asha’ topped the legendary ‘Festive 50’ rundown of John Peel’s tracks of the year in 1997. Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) loved the track and remixed the song which became hugely popular.
The song was a tribute to the prolific Indian playback singer, Asha Bhosle, and Tjinder’s musical influences such as Trojan Records and vinyl culture in general. In 2000 Ayres and Singh released a disco inspired album ‘Disco and the Halfway to Discontent’ as part of their side-project, Clinton. This album inspired the launch of the London based clubnight called Buttoned Down Disco, which took its name from the third track on the album.